Sep 28, 2007

Nichi nichi kore ko jitsu – every day is a good day

In chanoyu, the scroll sets the theme for the tea gathering. It is displayed in the tokonoma, or alcove and is probably the most important utensil in the tea room. By convention, the scroll for a tea gathering is a single line of kanji characters and is usually a fragment of a poem, Zen phrase or part of a Zen phrase written by a Zen priest. A common scroll for a tea gathering is “Nichi, nichi, kore kojitsu,” or “Hibi kore ko nichi” Literally translated it means – everyday is a good day.

When this scroll is hung in the tea room alcove, (tokonoma) it reminds us that the day is not good or bad. It is just a day. Our attitude is what changes the day into either good or bad.

It is like the story of the farmer who had a horse and his neighbors said he was very lucky, but one day the horse ran away. And the neighbors remarked how unlucky he was. But the horse came back with two others and they said he was lucky again. Then his son fell off the horse and broke his arm while riding it and they said he was unlucky. But when the daimyo came to draft men for his army, the son wasn’t chosen and they said he was lucky again.

It all depends on your attitude to the day. Every day can be a good day or everyday can be a bad day. What kind of day is today?

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